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ADB: First tranche of loan financing for Bataan-Cavite bridge seen approved by Q3

The first tranche of a loan to bankroll the construction of the P175-billion Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge is targeted to be approved come the third quarter of this year, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Manila-based multilateral lender is co-financing the project with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

At a recent press briefing, ADB country director for the Philippines Kelly Bird said the Bataan-Cavite bridge project will be funded under a $4-billion multi-finance facility.

The first tranche of the loan facility at $1 billion $650 million under ADB and $350 million under AIIB) is targeted to be “approved in the third quarter of this year.”

Bird said the loan agreement for the Bataan-Cavite bridge project would be signed by the lenders and the Philippine government “a week after it was approved.”

The ADB official said the loan may have a maturity period of “somewhere between 25 and 43 years… including a three-year grace period.”

Last week, an official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said the civil works contract packages to build the bridge project are set for bidding this year once the loans from the ADB and AIIB were approved.

The Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge is seen to become the longest bridge in the Philippines, which will cut travel time between the two provinces to 30-45 minutes from a five-hour trip.

The 32.15-kilometer, four-lane inter-island bridge will connect Barangay Alas-asin in Mariveles, Bataan, and Barangay Timalan Concepcion in Naic, Cavite.

The bridge will have two navigational bridges, the 400-meter North Channel Bridge and the 900-meter South Channel Bridge, that are expected to traverse Corregidor Island. About 80% of the structure will be over the sea.

The bridge is also seen to decongest traffic in Metro Manila, help reduce prices of goods and services as transport and logistics costs would be decreased, and create economic opportunities in Bataan and Cavite as well as their adjacent provinces. — DVM, GMA Integrated News